How to Grow Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala)
An Extraction Method
Peganum harmala (syrian rue) is known since antiquity and its seeds, which contain b-carbolines (harmala alkaloids), have been used ritually and medicinally in Central Asia and the Middle East for probably a few millenia.
Its use has been associated with Soma, 'the drink of immortality' that was emloyed by the ancient Indo-Europeans.
In North-Western South America psychotropic drinks (ayahuasca brews) are prepared from several Banisteriopsis species that also contain b-carbolines.
Because P. harmala is very rich in b-carbolines it can be used effectively for the preparation of ayahuasca-analoques; it can prolong and intensifiy tryptamine- and phenylethylamine reactions (DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, psilocybin, mescaline). Effects
Oneirogenic: a dreamlike sequence in which one has the tendency to withdraw from the environment. One experiences a state of physical relaxation, lightheadedness and very vivid visual images with the eyes closed. Time and space perception are seriously altered.
Autonomic changes: dilated pupils, naseau, tremor, retching, increased cardio-output and blood pressure and evelation of body temperature.
The effect appear within an hour after ingestion and last five to eight hours.
Dosage and preparation :
P. harmala seeds can be either smoked or taken orally. A psychoactive dose consists of 3-20 grams. 5, 6 Approximately 3 grams is the threshold dose to inhibit MAO.
When taken orally an acidic infusion may be prepared, but the pulverized seeds may also be swallowed. To neutralise the acidic infusion, one may add alkaline substances.
Figure: P. harmala seeds
The seeds contain 2-6 percent alkaloids by weight. Harmaline, which is almost entirely responsible for the psychoactive effects of P. harmala, is active at 150-300 mg.
Botanical aspects :
This woody perennial belongs to the zygophyllaceae and is native to dry areas from the Middle East to India. This species has segmented leaves, produces small white flowers and reaches 0.5-1 meter in height
The seeds germinate fairly reliable by scattering them over the surface of the soils and tamping them in. The seedlings should be transplanted carefully. Temperature should be kept warm (a greenhouse is ideal for colder climates)
The alkaloid content (2-6 %) consists of C11H12N2-ringstructures mainly (b-carboline- and quinazoline alkaloids) and trace amounts of several tryptamines (serotonine and its 6-hydroxy positional isomer)and varies with the ripeness of the seeds; Unripe seeds have less alkaloid content than ripe seeds10.
From the b-carboline group, harmaline is present in most significant amounts, but harmine, harmalol and other derivatives are also present (shown below). From the quinazoline group, vasicine, vasicinon, desoxyvasicinon have been isolated.
Table 1.21: b-Carboline derivatives
Table 1.22: Quinazoline derivatives
Harmaline and harmine are very potent inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO is an enzyme that converts biogenic amines (noradrenaline, and serotonine) as well as psychoactive tryptamines into psychologically inactive aldehydes. A combination of tryptamine- or phenethylamine derivatives (which are substrate for MAO) with b-carbolines, will result in orally active preparations in which the psychological effects are lengthed and intensified.
For this purpose numerous plants can be used (for example Psychotria viridis). Combinations with cacti that contain phenethylamines are also possible, but due to the presence of the toxic tyramine, it is pharmacologically not safe to combine them with MAO-inhibitors.
The quinazoline members (vasicine, vasicinon and desoxyvasicinon) exhibit abortifacient activity; the uterine stimulatory effect is probably due to the release of prostaglandins and in addition, vasicine and vasicinon possess bronchodilatory activity.1
- MAO-inhibitors potentiate the effects of tryptamines (DMT, psilocybin etc.), phenethylamines (mescaline) and several psychoactive egot alkaloids (LSD, LSA). Mescaline containing cacti should be avoided due to the presence of tyramine.
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) doesn't change the intensity of the experience, but it alters its quality. One can concentrate better, develops less paranoia and is also less tired at the end of the experience.
- Hashish or marihuana can intensify the experience.
- Caffeine in combination with MAOI can cause hyperreactivity and suspiciousness
- Alkaloids of the tropane-type (atropine, scopolamine) alter and intensify the psychological effects of the harmala alkaloids.
NOT to be combined with MAO-inhibitors
See paragraph 1.5 monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).
1. [Efron/ Holmstedt/ Kline, 1967]
2. [Hoffer/ Osmond, 1967]
3. [Hoffmann/ Schultes, 1973]
4. [Naranjo, 1970]
5. [Ratsch, 1998]
6. [Shulgin, 1997]
7. [Stafford, 1974]
8. [Trachsel/ Richard, 2000]
9. [Forth/ Henschler/ Rummel/ Fostermann/ Starke, 2001]
10. [Mahmoudian/ Jalilpour/ Salehian, 2002]
The peganum harmala seeds germinate fairly reliably by scattering them thinly over the surface of normal, moist seed mix and tamping them in. Keep in a little bit filtered sun and maintain moisture. Temperature should be kept warm. We let them stay put for awhile, even if crowded, since disturbing young seedlings can be fatal.
Once they seem like they have solid bases at the stem, carefully transplant with attention to the fine root hairs and adhering soil, so as not to unduly break them or bare-root the seedlings. Repot by burying a little deeper then before. Place out of full sun for awhile and water them but don't overdo it. Seeds will continue to spontaneously sprout even years later from the sowing mix.
There seems to be anarrow niche tis species requires to be happy, and we have never quit found it. In the wild, despite mother bushes casting of thousands of viable seeds all summer and fall, relatively few take hold. Those young plants seen in the habitat are in specific microclimates: indentations of livestock hooves in the soil, perhaps offering more moisture and a bit of sun shadow in the print. The seeds opften sprouts magnificently, only to succumb to uncertain cultivation needs. Best to use sandy mix, only water when they are obviously needing, offer a partial filter from direct mid-day sun and make sure they are warm.
In natural habitat it get's pretty cold at night, but it is during a dry season and we are told some people have great succes storing their plants over winters by letting the plants actually dry up in the pots, put them in a dark, cool spot and bring them back to life in spring. We have a few old mother plants who sometimes skip a whole year without any sign of life, only to make green leaves at unpredictable times.
AN EXTRACTION METHOD FOR PEGANUM HARMALA
Take Two tablespoons ground Rue (seeds are tough, use blender) and bring to boil with 3 cups water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let boil for 5 minutes. let cool and then filter the grounds through a coffee filter, paper towel,or cheesecloth. Keep the liquid, pour off seperate from
the grounds. you can boil and filter the grounds with water and lemon juice 2 more times to get a higher yeild of harmaline. you can also wrap ground seeds in a coffee filter, staple it shut, and boil it like a tea bag for a half hour.
After boiling and filtering the grounds, set them aside. Take the murky Brown pour-off, bring it to a slow boil and let boil for 20 to 30 minutes. The water will boil off, leaving a very sticky brown resin. it smells like a rich coffee or unsweetened chocolate, and tastes quite biter.
It is water-soluble, so it cleans up easy.
For oral ingestion, a ball of resin extract- roughly the size of an aspirin is more than adequate."remember, with The addition of Syrian Rue, your Mushroom trip will be twice as strong and ten times weirder." If taking mor than 3 grams dried mushrooms, expect extremely intense audiovisual hallucinations.
(Our thanks for The Juice)